Historic medical offices in Glendale to become senior housing

Harrower Village will incorporate brick buildings from the 1920s

Abode Communities' Holly Benson and rendering of 912 E. Broadway, Glendale (Abode Communities)
Abode Communities' Holly Benson and rendering of 912 E. Broadway, Glendale (Abode Communities)

A local developer has broken ground on converting three century-old medical lab and clinic buildings in Glendale into 40 affordable homes for senior adults.

Abode Communities, a nonprofit based in Downtown Los Angeles, has started work on redeveloping the two-story Harrower Laboratory and Clinic at 912 East Broadway, Urbanize Los Angeles reported.

Harrower Village, an adaptive-reuse of three brick buildings, calls for on-site resident services and a central courtyard. Designed by Alfred Priest at the southwest corner of East Broadway and Belmont Street, they were built in 1920.

The Harrower Laboratory and Clinic was run by Dr. Henry Harrower, a controversial English-born pioneer of endocrinology, whose product Sani-tate drew a thriving business. He opened the nation’s first endocrine clinic in 1924.

After his death in the 1940s, the buildings were sold to Lambert Pharmaceuticals Company, makers of Listerine, according to a Glendale historic register. The property was later owned by filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille and Los Angeles Chiropractic College. Its uses have included offices, production space and a school for special needs children.

The City of Glendale acquired the property in 2019, and expects the building will qualify for the National Register of Historic Places after the completion of the senior housing, according to Urbanize.

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Abode is financing the Harrower Village project using a combination of tax credits, private and philanthropic funding. Completion is expected in 2023.

Rents have soared in Glendale, growing 36.3 percent since 1921 to an average of $4,472, according to rent.com.

In May, Abode Communities teamed up with AvalonBay Communities to pitch plans to build 1,200 apartments – a quarter of them affordable – at a former Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin. Also, it’s building a 90-unit supportive housing complex for homeless and disabled residents in San Pedro.

Last year, Abode and AvalonBay were chosen to redevelop the 8-acre West Los Angeles Civic Center site, a sprawling mixed-use project that will include residential, office and retail components.

— Dana Bartholomew

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